We cannot pray in love and live in hate and still think we are worshipping God. (A.W. Tozer)
Around our world, within our churches, there are constantly mixed messages being sent. We say that we worship a God who became human – blessing our physical existence – and yet we demonize bodies. We say that we worship a God who has spent eternity lifting up the oppressed, welcoming the marginalized, and empowering the “weak,” and yet we intentionally choose language and practices that keep some people in exclusion. We say that we worship a God who is Love itself, and yet we preach hatred in a myriad of subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
Make no mistake, this is not a new problem.
However, we, as the body of Christ, are called into a constant evolution – a transformation recreating us ever more into the image of the God we worship. We are the ones asked to do better. To speak hard truths. To discard hatred. To give the world a vision of who it is we pray to every week.
When we fail at this, we fail not only ourselves. We fail all of our neighbors, for until all are free to be who God created us to be, no one truly is. We fail our children who are watching and listening and following what we do. We fail God, because we have stopped being the servants we were meant to be in order to make ourselves comfortable.
That is not love.
We cannot stand on the side of those making others feel less than human, less than important, less than welcome, and still think we are followers of Jesus Christ.
For to follow, truly follow our Lord means that we will love with such reckless abandon that no one will be left out. God calls us to be a family, and as Lilo taught us so many years ago now, family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.
May we all seek to be better so that we can show the world the Love that God has so generously given to us.